Author Archive

Feb
22

Pickup Truck Diesels

In the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal known colloquially as Dieselgate, German automakers have almost completely discontinued offering their diesel-engine models in the United States–at least for the time being. Yet, somehow, sales of sales of diesel vehicles in the U.S. are actually up slightly. How is that possible?

Feb
20
1982 Imperial

1982 Imperial coupe

There are few automobiles to which more “firsts” and “lasts” can be awarded than the 1981-1983 Imperial.

Feb
19
1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS

1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS

As a contemporary homage to the classic muscle car, the 1987 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS followed the letter of the law, if not the spirit. The Monte SS was indeed a midsize car crammed full of big-car engine, but by ’87, “big-car” engines just weren’t what they used to be.

Feb
16
Best City Cars

2018 Toyota Yaris iA

The following article, written by Consumer Guide Publisher Tom Appel, first appeared in the “2018 Chicago Auto Show Official Show Guide.” Thanks to the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, producers of the Chicago Auto Show, for allowing us to share the text again here. 

Thanks to easy access to ridesharing services such as Uber, Lyft, and Wingz, many urban dwellers have found that they can live free of the complications and costs of car ownership. On the occasion that short-hop transportation is needed, these car-free bon vivants turn to a smartphone app and order up a quick ride. Other times, public transportation suffices.

Feb
14
1978 Oldsmobile Aeroback, General Motors Aerobacks

1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon Brougham

It’s a popularly held position that General Motors doesn’t take enough styling chances—or at least it historically hasn’t. I would argue that there are plenty of Eighties and Nineties examples of rather sterile looking GM vehicles that support this point, but a slate of inoffensive Cieras, Malibus, and Skyhawks hardly tells the whole story. General Motors has, in fact, taken many styling chances over the years–though the results weren’t always positive.

Feb
05
Ford Triton V10

Ford’s Modular V10 engine has been in production since 1997.

Car and truck engines are designed in a relatively small number of cylinder configurations. Inline 4-cylinder and V6 engines are easily the most common, with V8 mills coming in third in popularity.

Feb
02
Classic Ads 1982

1982 Dodge Charger 2.2

There is an air of parsimony to the automotive print ads of 1982. Take in all of the examples and take note of the following:

Jan
31

Autonomous Driving LevelsIf there is an automotive analogy to the concept of a shadow government, it’s the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Although there’s nothing actually shadowy about the group, its members do establish a considerable number of standards and general guidelines by which the industry regulates and organizes itself. The SAE does this while having no direct relationship with any car manufacturer or the government.

Jan
29
1989 Yugo Review

1989 Yugo GVX

Even folks with just a passing interest in comedy know that there are dozens of punch-line responses to the classic prompt, “Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup!” My new favorite is, “That’s possible–the chef used to be a tailor.”

Jan
25
Pontiac Sunfire Concept

Pontiac Sunfire Concept

The very last Pontiacs were sold as 2010 models, though production of all Pontiac models had ceased by late 2009. The demise of General Motors’ “performance division” was certainly a sad affair, but truth be told, the brand had become largely unrecognizable to many marque enthusiasts. With a largely alphanumeric naming scheme and an intentionally toned-down design theme meant to attract Japanese-car intenders, the Pontiac of the 21st century bore little resemblance to the nameplate once known for Wide Track design and the GTO.

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